08 December 2021

2021 Carlsen - Nepomniachtchi, the Second Week

It ain't over 'til it's over, but it's over -- the 2021 Carlsen - Nepomniachtchi in Dubai, that is. I started last week's post, 2021 Carlsen - Nepomniachtchi, the First Week (December 2021), with an observation:-
The first four games of the match all ended in draws.

The fifth game was also a draw, then World Champion Magnus Carlsen won three of the next four games (g.6/8/9), conceding a single draw to the challenger, GM Ian Nepomniachtchi. The score is now +3-0=6 with five games to be played. For the game-by-game action, let's turn again to press reports Fide.com, all under the heading 'FIDE World Championship Dubai 2021'.

And here are the latest Youtube videos titled 'FIDE World Championship Match - NBC Recap Game':-

On my main blog I've been running a monthly series on chess in the mainstream news, nicknamed 'Yahoos' (don't ask why). The most recent post in the series was World Championship Yahoos 2021 (November 2021). One of the angles I'll be watching for the next post, end-December, will be coverage of the Dubai World Championship. After the 2020-21 chess boom powered by the covid pandemic and Netflix, wa should see considerably more interest than for other recent matches.

In the meantime, curious about coverage of the match, I checked Google News to see what it considers the top stories on the match. Here's what I recorded as sources for the current top-10:-

  • 3 x chess.com
  • 3 x theguardian.com
  • 1 x nytimes.com
  • 1 x essentiallysports.com
  • 1 x chess24.com
  • 1 x chessbase.com

Because the top-10 news stories change constantly, the list is dynamic. The first source and the last two sources -- with 'chess' in their names -- would nevertheless figure on most lists. The second and third sources -- theguardian.com and nytimes.com -- have been covering world class chess for years. Only one source -- essentiallysports.com -- was not familiar to me; for more of its stories, see Latest Chess Updates | Essentially Sports.

The New York Times story, Did the World Chess Championship End When No One Was Looking?, by the NYT's former chess columnist Dylan Loeb McClain, started,

The world chess championship currently underway in Dubai is not over officially, but for all intents and purposes it may have been decided already. After a string of five draws to begin the championship, Magnus Carlsen, the reigning champion from Norway, has won two of the last three games, to take a lead of five points to three over his challenger, Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia.

If one of the top American chess journalists thought the match 'may have been decided already' after two wins for Carlsen, what can we say after three wins? It's over...

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